Stephen Eugene Headley 1949-2021
Stephen Eugene Headley passed away on Tuesday March 16, 2021 with is wife, brother, daughter and granddaughters at his side. He was born on November 9, 1949 in Tacoma, Washington to parents Harold and Bettye Headley. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to all.
Steve grew up in Southern California, the youngest of three sons and was described as bright, having many talents, and "could do anything." He especially excelled in music. In 1972 he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in the burgeoning music industry. He worked for several companies doing typesetting and publishing around the Music Row area before meeting his future wife Diane on a horse farm in 1974.
He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1977 with a Bachelor's of Science in Instrumental Music and a Masters from Vanderbilt in 1996 in Special Education. He was a lifelong and loyal Vandy fan.
He dedicated his life to helping others and especially those with disabilities. He worked for the TN Department of Youth Development, where he co-wrote and directed the US Department of Education school-to-work transitions grant for students with disabilities. He coordinated support services and assistive technology for college students with vision, hearing and physical disabilities. The last 20 years of his life he worked for the TN Dept of Children's Services where he helped facilitate the delivery of special education services for children in state custody. He trained foster parents and case managers in working with schools over seven rural TN counties. Stephen served on the International Association of Machinists Business Advisory Council, the Goodwill Industries Business Advisory Council, was a member of the Mayor's Committee for People with Disabilities, the Technology Coordinator for Nashville Disability Coalition, and a member of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Steve's biggest passion in life was music, especially the genres of jazz and big band. In Steve's past-time he was a member of many local Nashville bands over the years including the Establishment in the 1970's and 80's. More recently he played guitar for the Merchants of Cool big band and the Muletown Jazz Collective which brought him much joy.
Steve is survived by his wife Judith Diane Headley, daughter Karen Headley, son Michael Headley and Kelly Kyle, Todd Headley and wife Amanda Headley, brother Harold and wife Brenda Headley, brother Spencer and wife Barbara Headley, grandchildren Nathan, Rylee, Killian, Lauren, Josie, sister in law Jane Richardson and family, as well as many adoring close friends.
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